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Chancellor’s Science Scholar and incoming first-year student Celine Locklear is eager to get the academic year started and jump into an array of social activities at Carolina.

Celine Locklear smiles for the camera underneath a big tree.
Celine Locklear

Incoming first-year Celine Locklear might have been more nervous about the transition from high school to university were it not for the Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program’s Summer EXCELerator.

As a Chancellor’s Science Scholar who plans on studying biology, Locklear participated in the six-week immersion program, which helps prepare first-year scholars for their STEM degree and learn more about Carolina’s campus.

Thanks to that head start, Locklear feels ready to begin a full class load in the fall. After spending her final year in high school learning online, she’s eager to jump into an array of social activities at Carolina.

Locklear is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, and she’s hoping her time on campus will provide her with an opportunity to share more about her culture with fellow Tar Heels. She also heard about various campus groups, such as Carolina for the Kids, and is considering joining their efforts.

Locklear spoke about getting into her dream school, what she’s most looking forward to doing at Carolina and what she hopes to bring to the Tar Heel experience.

What do you plan on studying at Carolina?

I’m studying biology. I want to learn more about the body and eventually, maybe, create something that can help others and bring it back to my community.

Why did you decide to come to Carolina?

It’s always been my dream school. When I’ve done summer camps, we went on tours, and I fell in love with the campus and the research labs.

What does it mean to be a Tar Heel?

It’s different than I expected, but I’m excited. I started online, but it’ll be different when I’m on campus and in person. Talking with upperclassmen about their transition helped. I’m looking forward to being able to grow as a person and a student.

What are you most looking forward to in your first semester?

I’m looking forward to sports because I missed out on that in high school. I took classes this summer, so the class part I think I’ll get adjusted to easier, but I’m looking forward to the social aspect of college. I’m also looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone at Carolina and pushing my limits so I can grow.

What do you hope to bring to the Carolina community?

A sense of diversity. A big part of me is my culture, so maybe joining a group for my culture and spreading more information about it. I’m Native American — I’m Lumbee — and I feel like a lot of people don’t really know about Native Americans.

How have you participated with your culture in the past?

I started beading. We make our own earrings. I’m trying to get back into that. I took a few dance classes, but I didn’t stick with it. I like going to pow-wows and stuff. I know they have those on campus, so I’ll be volunteering and helping with those.What do you hope to achieve through the Chancellor’s Science Scholars program?

I just want to be able to find my purpose within STEM, being a woman and being able to feel like I’m successful in my field and career. I think after graduation, I want to continue working in a research lab.

By Amanda Wicks, University Communications

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